‘Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed’: Quake-Hit Turkey Hails ‘Dost’ India For Prompt Aid

Turkey’s Ambassador to India Firat Sunel on Tuesday conveyed  his country’s gratitude to its “dost” India, proving that it is a friend in need. “We really appreciate the help extended by India to Turkey within hours of the earthquake. We, too, use the word ‘dost’ for a friend. I would say a friend in need is a friend indeed. Friends help each other,” he said.

He hailed the urgency and sincerity, with which India leaped into action after the earthquake. “The first 48-72 hours are very important and Indian rescue teams were in the field. Yesterday, India sent carriers to Turkey carrying search-&rescue teams, along with necessary equipment. It arrived in the morning in Adana,” Sunel said.

A second plane has now been sent to Turkey and will land before evening

Sunel further said: “India was among the first countries to react when we asked for medical assistance from the international community. ‘Dost’ help each other. Turkey had also sent carriers to India with medical help during Covid time.” 

Hailing India’s all-rounded teams on the ground, he said: “What we need most in the initial hours after the earthquake is search-and-rescue teams with specially trained dog squads,” he said.

Indian aviation regulator DGCA held a meeting with Indian carriers over operating flights to Turkey for cargo movements via commercial scheduled flights. IndiGo has offered free cargo movement on its scheduled commercial flights using a Boeing 777 aircraft to Istanbul.

India is sending a C130J Hercules aircraft, carrying only medicines to Damascus in Syria as well. Two more C-17s are planned for Turkey in the late evening with 60 Para Field Hospital and personnel.

Till now, India has sent NDRF teams, rescuers, dog squads, medical teams, and relief material to Turkey.

An Earthquake of magnitude of 7.7 hit the Turkey-Syria region on Monday. After a couple of hours another earthquake of magnitude 7.6 hit the two countries. This was followed by three more quakes, all withing 48 hours. The latest toll from the earthquake reflects at least 5,034 confirmed deaths in Turkey and Syria. While 

Turkey’s toll rose to 3,432, while Syria reported 1,602 deaths across the government-controlled areas and opposition-controlled regions, Turkey’s Disaster Coordination Centre (AKOM) said on Tuesday.

“More than 14 million people were affected in southeastern Turkey. It’s a big disaster. More than 21,103 people were injured, almost 6,000 buildings collapsed, and three airports were damaged,” Sunel said.

“So far, we haven’t received any requests from Indians for rescue after the earthquake in Turkey. The Indian mission in Ankara may have received some requests,” he added.

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